He is the richest man in the world, his assets amount to 211 billion dollars (Bloomberg Billionaires Index) and he is also the founder of Amazon, the one who built an empire with his idea of ​​e-commerce, changing for always our way of shopping.

We are of course talking about Jeff Bezos , a man who recently made headlines by completing an experience he had wanted to do all his life: going into space.

As he had already made headlines in 2019 on the occasion of his divorce, or again in 2013 when he purchased the Washington Post.

In short, a man used to being in the spotlight. Here’s who the richest man in the world is.

His life in a nutshell

Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, from the relationship between a seventeen-year-old student and the manager of a bike shop who performed on a unicycle in a circus.

The two separated almost immediately and, at the age of four, Jeff was adopted by his mother’s new boyfriend, a Cuban exile named Miguel Bezos.

As a child Jeff Bezos was already interested in the functioning of objects , he spent most of his time in his parents’ garage which he transformed into a laboratory and dedicated himself to manual work and small inventions. Someone says that he was able to dismantle and reassemble the cradles in which he slept because in his opinion they were uncomfortable.

He spent the summers of his childhood and adolescence on his grandfather’s ranch, a very important figure in his life, spending his afternoons repairing windmills and castrating bulls.

In high school he immediately showed a passion for computers . Having moved to Miami with his family, he is at the top of his class. In fact, he is entrusted with the farewell speech, in which he talks about a future in which everyone will move to another planet because the Earth will not have enough resources.

He graduated brilliantly in computer science and electronic engineering from Princeton University and immediately found work in various Wall Street companies: Fitel, Bankers Trust and the investment company DE Shaw. Here he met his future wife, Mackenzie, and in 1990 he became the youngest vice president of the company.

The invention of the century: Amazon

In 1994, the lighting. As a practical man, Bezos senses the incredible success of the internet and applies his “method of minimizing regrets” to himself. Could you regret leaving Wall Street at age 80? The answer is no. And that he missed the beginning of the Internet? He has no doubts about this question: he is leaving his job and his salary of over 200,000 dollars a year for what will be the biggest gamble of his life: Amazon . The business plan was written during a long road trip, the initial budget was 300,000 dollars obtained from personal and family savings.

He opens the new company’s office in his garage where, together with a few employees, he begins to develop the software. After inviting 300 friends to beta test the site, Bezos introduced to the public on July 16, 1995 .

The initial idea is to sell books all over the world. An online bookstore, without shelves, without borders.

Initially the name of the project was supposed to be something else. Bezos was thinking of something more magical, like Cadabra, which recalled the word abracadabra. But the lawyer Todd Tarbert convinces him that the sound of this name, pronounced out loud, is too similar to “Cadaver”. So Bezos goes looking for a name that starts with A to appear at the top of the lists and the choice falls on Amazon, in homage to the Amazon River, because he likes the idea that the selection of books in his shop is as vast as the longest river in the world.

The bet turns into a success within a few months. Without any promotion, manages to sell books in the United States and 45 other foreign countries. Within two months, sales were generating $20,000 per week , much faster growth than the founders expected.

The real turning point came in 1997 , when Bezos and his partners decided to launch themselves into the world of e-commerce, diversifying Amazon’s offerings with the sale of CDs and videos and presenting themselves as an online alternative for shopping. Instead of going around hunting for the perfect purchase, users can find everything in just a few clicks, comfortably sitting on the sofa at home. It’s the beginning of an era. In the same year the company was listed on the stock exchange.

Subsequently, clothes, electronic objects, toys and more were also added thanks to commercial partnerships.

In 2005, Amazon Prime arrived , the annual or monthly subscription service, initially created to guarantee deliveries within two days in the United States and to eliminate shipping costs.

In 2006 launched its video on demand service; initially known as Amazon Unbox, it was then renamed Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Video and finally Prime Video .

In 2007 the company launched the Kindle , a digital, handheld book reader that allows users to purchase, download, read, and store volumes that would fill entire libraries.

In 2010, Amazon Studios was established to produce films and TV series.

In 2013, Bezos revealed an experimental new Amazon initiative, Amazon Prime Air , which used drones for customer deliveries that could carry items weighing up to 5 pounds and travel within 10 miles of the company’s distribution center. . 

In 2014 it launched Amazon Echo , the voice-controlled speaker equipped with Alexa, the virtual assistant.

In 2018, Amazon Go appeared in Seattle , the first fully automated supermarket without checkouts where you can buy groceries of any kind. Upon entering you scan your QR code, take what you need and leave, without going to the cash registers. Sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence systems recognize the products included in the shopping, make the bill and charge it via the application a few minutes after leaving. The technology developed by Amazon is called Just Walk Out, a bit like saying “just leave the store”.

Today Amazon is the largest marketplace on the planet, managing to cover almost every type of sector, from streaming services to fashion, from smart home products to the cloud. For years it has been part of the Trillion Dollar Club, the very small group of companies with a capitalization exceeding 1000 billion dollars.

It changed our lives and transformed the world.

The passion for publishing: the purchase of the Washington Post

Bezos made headlines around the world on August 5, 2013, when he purchased one of the largest newspapers in the United States, the Washington Post , and other affiliated publications from the parent company, for $250 million. The acquisition is being made as a personal investment, not made on behalf of Amazon.

Bezos promises to preserve the values ​​and journalistic tradition of the newspaper, but makes changes linked to the evolution of the Internet and his continuous search for experimentation.

 Thanks to its economic and cultural contribution, the Washington Post becomes a laboratory of ideas for the digital future of journalism on which a group of people from different backgrounds work than those who are normally present in the editorial offices of traditional media.

Precisely to mark this direction even further, a laboratory based in New York, the WPNYC, was created, explicitly dedicated to technological innovation.

From the garage to space: Jeff Bezos’ mission

52 years after Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, Jeff Bezos celebrates that July 20, 1969 by flying into space . He had dreamed of accomplishing this mission his whole life. Together with him two generations of space tourists: the youngest, eighteen-year-old Dutch Oliver Daemen and the oldest, eighty-two-year-old American Wally Funk.

A journey that lasted less than 11 minutes in total, aboard the Blue Origin-branded New Shepard spacecraft.

Founded in 2000, Blue Origin is a Seattle-based aerospace company developing technologies to offer space travel to paying customers and aiming to include scheduled off-planet flights. This is why Blue Origin’s commitment (like SpaceX) focuses on reusable rockets : going to and from orbit will have to become routine.


  • He sleeps at least eight hours every night. He believes that sleep is the best response to stress and overwork. Some say that Bezos has a sleeping bag in the office, to give himself a break on the busiest days.
  • Waking up must happen calmly and naturally, which is why he never sets meetings before 10 am and, if he can, dedicates that time to his family.
  • One of his pastimes is scouring the oceans for space remains. Most rockets detach from their spacecraft during flight, dropping their boosters into the sea. Bezos dives in a submarine to recover these historical relics. Sometimes he also brings his family with him. And he once spent three weeks looking for a single rocket.
  • His worst memory is the summer he spent working at a McDonald’s: at that moment he decided that he would build his own future.
  • Amazon does not allow the use of Power Point presentations in on-site meetings: employees must express concepts in writing in a maximum of six pages, because Bezos is keen to stimulate their critical thinking.
  • He made headlines for building a clock in the heart of a mountain. Powered by mechanical energy, it is expected to last one hundred centuries.
  • According to estimates (referring to 2020), he earns around 3,500 dollars per second, which becomes around 300 million at the end of the day.
  • 9 seconds is the time it takes him to earn the annual salary of one of his warehouse workers.

His habits in the company

He is a very demanding manager, but he is also very thrifty and minimizes benefits for Amazon employees and his collaborators.

In fact, in the company, new hires who commit the impudence of printing documents on one side instead of double-sided or, even worse, those who ask to fly on business get terrible looks.

Bezos has a very specific corporate philosophy: the focus of Day 1, which in the life of companies corresponds to the initial phase, the start-up. Day 2, i.e. the second phase, is stasis. This is followed by the third, irrelevance, and then the fourth, the “very painful decline”, which precedes the fifth, that is, death. The important thing, therefore, is to never exit the first phase .

This may be why he chose to place his office in the building with the name Day One, also engraved in the bathrooms of the warehouses.

And every year he concludes the letters to employees by reminding them “that we are always on Day 1”.

The infallible principles for success

“We use our Leadership Principles every day, whether to discuss new ideas or find the best solution to a problem. It is one of the characteristics that makes us unique.” A mantra that Jeff Bezos’ employees must print in their minds.

Among these 14 principles to scrupulously adhere to, “Never answer: it’s not my job”, “Invent and simplify” and “disagree and adhere to decisions” stand out.

A phrase that Bezos always addresses to potential employees is “You can work long, intensely or shrewdly, but here you can’t just choose two of the three options.” He wants them all.

Jeff Bezos’ biggest flop

Its big flop, or we could say only one, is Fire Phone , the smartphone launched in 2014. Based on the Fire OS operating system, it went out of production the year after it was announced on the market.

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